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Mounting A Removable Middle (3rd) Grate

By Dan Cannon, 29-April-2002

Another approach for increasing capacity is to mount a middle grate halfway between the top and bottom grates.

This modification requires that you drill holes in the middle cooking section of the cooker. When drilling a hole in your WSM, porcelain enamel and steel.  This can be done with a standard drill and bit very easily.

To add a middle grate, determine the halfway point, EXACTLY, between the top and bottom grates and make four equally spaced marks around the perimeter of the cooking section. Drill a small hole (about 3/16th) at each of the four marks, then fashion two support rods that will pass through each pair of holes, parallel to each other, not crossed.  Place an 18" grates (like from the New Brunsfels Water Smoker,  on the two parallel supports and you've got yourself a middle grate!

Just remove the support rods when you don't want to use the middle grate.  You don't need to worry about smoke leakage, air flow, or heat loss from the tiny holes you've drilled. They don't affect the performance of the cooker in any significant way.

This is how the rods would look mounted in the WSM looking down from the top.  On the rods bend the last two inches down 45 degrees on one end.  That way it will push all the way into the unit and not come out.  Makes a handy little handle also.  I got my rods from Home Depot, cold rolled steel section.  Came in 3 foot lengths, 98 cents each.

I REALLY like this option.  Have put it in all 4 of my WSM's.  Always use the middle and top shelf before I will use the lower shelf.  I can put up to 9 butts in one unit (3 on each shelf), or a mix and match of brisket, chicken, butt, and ribs.  

Dan Cannon




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